Move Analysis of Science and Engineering PhD Abstracts: Variations between the Two Disciplines in a Thai University

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Yanumart Saengsai
Issra Pramoolsook



This study aims to investigate the differences of the move structure between science and engineering PhD abstracts produced at Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand. A corpus of 25 abstracts from each of the two disciplines was purposively drawn from Suranaree University of Technology Intellectual Repository (SUTIR) with the university’s permission, constituting a final corpus of 50 abstracts for the analysis. The move structure analysis of these abstracts was conducted using Hyland’s (2000) five-move framework (Introduction-Purpose-Method-Product-Conclusion). The move frequency classification was based on Kanoksilapatham (2005), and the inter-rater reliability was calculated using percent agreement (Holsti, 1969). The findings reveal that although the writers of these abstracts were from the same local academic discourse community, they create both major and minor differences in their abstract writing, possibly due to the different disciplinary knowledge and culture they subscribe to. Moreover, the engineering PhD abstracts show greater similarity in function and composition to those presented in the adopted analysis framework than their science counterparts. The researchers hope from this study that the results can also shed more light on the disciplinary discourse variations and can offer pedagogical implications for academic English writing teachers to teach students to write the PhD abstracts in their fields.


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